“Staycations may be on the cusp of a new golden age.”
“The UK is now about to enter an era of increased remote working.”
The Independent reminds us of a report from the distant past:
In the days before coronavirus existed – April 2019 to be exact – a House of Lords select committee highlighted many of the issues facing seaside towns. In a scathing analysis criticising perpetual underinvestment, the peers recommended a whole raft of measures should be taken: better transport links; faster broadband; increased educational opportunities; and greater funding for local services; and recognised the unique issues – poverty, crime, drug use and mental health – that are often rife.
In our new Covid age, the necessity of such action is starker than ever, analysts suggest.
And the VGS sent in its own contributions at the time:
Last month, concerns were expressed by a coalition of groups representing coastal communities:
Letter to the Prime Minister – Appoint a Coastal Communities Minister please!
Alongside the Local Government Department’s Coastal Interest Group and the Coastal Communities Alliance, we have asked the Prime Minister to appoint a Coastal Communities Minister to provide a joined-up strategy across Whitehall departments to give support to coastal towns and help restore them to pre-Covid levels.
As the piece in the Independent pointed out at the time, there are opportunities too:
Covid and the coast: How ripple effect of coronavirus crisis ‘threatens survival’ of British seaside towns
But amid potential pandemic ruin is historic opportunity, experts say, to transform long-overlooked communities – to benefit of whole country
Already the national lockdown – which wiped out three crucial bank holidays – has cost seaside towns across the country some £10.3bn in lost revenue according to estimates by the National Coastal Tourism Academy…
Long-term decline or not, tourism still generates huge amounts of money for coastal resorts… The problem is that, using the same analogy, it is often the only goose in town. The reliance on this single economic strand makes coastal resorts uniquely vulnerable to contractions…
But, conversely, there is also hope the pandemic may just provide the much-needed spur required for such long-term change regeneration. Two reasons for this optimism run parallel.
The first is the idea staycations may be on the cusp of a new golden age. With people already looking to reduce their carbon footprint, the new health implications of air travel have arguably made domestic tourism more appealing than ever…
The second reason for optimism is that if, as seems likely, the UK is now about to enter an era of increased remote working, it is our small towns which look likely to be the biggest winners…
Despite the change in weather over the last couple of days, the media has been very supportive of the staycation:
And there’s more interest in working from a seaside home:
But fear of Covid is not helping: